XIV Argonauts

by Geeta Malik

<center>Jessica Mahmood</center>
Jessica Mahmood

Jessica Mahmood: Jessica is 14 years old. She was introduced to the Jason Project through her home-school science curriculum, and decided to apply to be an Argonaut. She initially was interested in animals, and is now getting more interested in environmental conservation. She says, "I’ve been interested in a bunch of different things, but nothing specific yet." One of Jessica's role models is Heather Dewitt, who "started a program here for removing the invasive plants. And she’s only 18 now, I think, and she’s already heading a program all through high school, and I thought that was pretty cool when I met her.” Jessica's advice to young people interested in science is to apply for the Jason project!

<center>Alicia (center) and Argonauts waiting to broadcast</center>
Alicia (center) and Argonauts waiting to broadcast

Alicia Foyt: Alicia was a cohost for the Jason Project broadcasts. She went to school at Texas A&M University at Galveston and received her degree in marine biology in 2000. She says, "I was a Jason 5 argonaut, when they explored the coral reefs. I grew up in Las Vegas but always liked the ocean. I really became interested in science when I read a book by Dr. Eugenie Clark about shark biology."

She says, "I would hope that every woman would at least try to challenge themselves to grow outside of their comfort zones. I know a lot of young women grow up in different households, with different social factors, and different things going on in their lives, and what I’ve always found to be true is to risk yourself, risk doing something new and challenging yourself...take that big dream that you have and really actively pursue it, and find people in the community that can help you."

<center>William getting ready to broadcast</center>
William getting ready to broadcast

William Ramos: William is 14. He became involved with the Jason Project while using it on the Internet during school, and then he decided to apply to be an Argonaut. He likes biology, especially the subject of human cells. William is thinking about being a forensic doctor, but he's not sure right now. His advice for other kids interested in science is "Don’t let anybody stop you. I didn’t really think I’d be going this far--I guess you have to overcome yourself sometimes--but don’t let anybody discourage you. There’s always a possibility to do whatever you want."

<center>JoAnn Baldwin</center>
JoAnn Baldwin

JoAnn Baldwin: JoAnn is 15 years old, and is not sure yet what she wants to do. Science and medicine are her major interests. She says, "My parents are my role models. I just look up to a lot of people who have goals in life." She advises other kids to "get involved in as much as you can. When I’m here working with the scientists, it's an awesome opportunity to check it out and see if I really want to be a scientist someday. If you have high standards for yourself, things come out much better."

<center>Shannon holding a lizard</center>
Shannon holding a lizard

Shannon Ackerman: Shannon says, "When I was in the 6th grade, I went to a telecast and it was of Hawaii, and I saw that just regular kids were doing the stuff that I’m doing now [with the Jason Project], and I just thought that it would be so amazing to do it, so when I got old enough, I applied. I really like marine biology, I like the ocean. I also like astronomy, I like to look at the stars. I've been inspired by my mom and dad. I think kids should keep trying—there’s a science that everyone can find and will like!"

Related Links

The Jason Project - A link to the JASON XIV Project on the Channel Islands
Dr. Robert Ballard - The MY HERO page about Bob Ballard and the JASON Project
More Jason Project Participants - Read the My Hero story about Jason Divers and Student Argonauts.